I do the same exact thing. xD I practice so much because I’ve had times where there’s a question I didn’t see coming and hesitate and completely freeze up, especially if it’s something I’m not sure on. I loathe doing that because it makes me feel like I didn’t prepare enough and that they won’t hire me just because of that one question. It’s nerve wracking and it’s part of my overthinking process… which isn’t healthy.
Unfortunately, it is. Because they want to see how you react or respond.
And there is a few that they may ask that throw you in for a loop. Typically.
It’ll depend on the job, but it’s fairly the same with anything. I’ll first research about the position—what’s expected, etc. Then research all kinds of interview questions from that specific industry/position to basic questions that most interviewing managers ask.
Personally, a lot of the questions are easy to answer, like when I interviewed for the library, the question of “Why would you want to work here?” popped up. Answered something like: “I love helping people in every way that I can and I’d love to be around like-minded individuals as I am an avid reader and a writer. I’ve always wanted to work at a library, and it’s a dream of mine to even own a bookstore one day.”
Indeed has blogs that has interview questions, and they specifically had ones for library assistants (which is what I am), and one that had me think a bit more on an answer was one that said, “How would you encourage people to visit the library?” This is an advertisement question, and I don’t remember if I got it, but when I read this, I had to think about how would I, a customer service clerk, would get people to come in? So, I’d respond with events the library could put on (which they do) to bring people in and use social media to help reach that audience. The nice thing is that my colleagues are open to ideas, and one of them who plans and hosts events, couldn’t figure out what to do for teens for October and I threw out, “Scary movie night.” They thought it was awesome and gave me the job of hosting it (mainly because they’re away for the day she put it on). But these kinds of events help bring people in because they’re free and give people things to do (since we live in a very boring small town).
As for answering the questions or just interacting with them in general, you want to be nice and respectful (unless they’re rude or asking too much of you where you do need to just stand up and leave). For example, my hiring managers had asked me, “What would you do if a patron threw something at you?” My answer was something like, “Stay calm, alert a supervisor, and if needed, get police on the phone.” They later told me that one of their other interviewees had responded with, “I’ll throw it back at them,” which is a complete red flag and hearing something like that would immediately slice your name off their candidate list. xD
I mean, even if the question is stupid like, “Why would you want to work here?” (because the obvious answer is “I have bills to pay”) this isn’t what they want to hear. You want to answer honestly, but if a question comes up that sounds obvious or that you have an attitude like that one interviewee, then sugarcoat your answer.
While you’re also preparing answers, you should also prepare questions. These job interviews aren’t just seeing if you’re a good fit for the company, but also to see if the company is a good fit for you. You never want to leave an interview without asking questions, and it doesn’t have to be at the very end. One of my favorite strategies is conversing with them, as in asking them questions while they ask me questions. Like, when I was asked, “What’s your favorite book?” I’ll answer mine and then ask the same thing for them to answer. This does three things that benefit you more than you know:
- It shows that you care.
Employers, or hiring managers, love to see that you’re interested in them as much as they are in you.
- That you prepared.
Asking questions, specifically the ones that are position-focused, show that you came prepared which is a good thing.
- It eases your anxiety.
Don’t worry about being anxious; hiring managers are also nervous, too. Some may hide it better than others, or some have just gotten better with practice. But, when you’re having a conversation with them, it doesn’t feel like you’re being interrogated and you may even enjoy it.
Another thing for preparing yourself that is, unfortunately, beyond your knowledge, is your look. How you present yourself is what helps sell yourself (because they’ll judge you), so you want to look professional - no matter what kind of job it is. You want to wear business attire or something close to it, like a nice shirt and dress pants, and you want to make sure your hair is tidy as well. If you wear makeup, keep it light and natural. This is because if you show up looking too casual (like jeans and a T-shirt), it shows that you actually don’t care about the job… whether or not you do.
This is the best thing to think of when job hunting. It can definitely be hard, especially if it’s with a position you truly wanted, but it’s not good for you to be stuck in a cycle of depression or misery if you mope about a single position. There will be others, or you could always try again if they open another position.